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Jackson, Notre Dame and Saxony softball teams earn favorable seeds for districts

Jackson sophomore shortstop and three-hole hitter Morgan Conklin helped the Indians secure the No. 3 seed in the Class 5 District 1 Tournament. Photo by Jay Forness

It is officially now postseason play for area softball teams as this week begins the district tournaments for all five classifications throughout Missouri.

Out of the three Cash-Book Journal teams that play in the fall season, each squad was seeded in the top three of their respective districts.

In Class 4 District 1, Notre Dame (23-4) earned the No. 2 seed after finishing the regular season on a 13-game winning streak. Receiving the top seed ahead of the Bulldogs was Farmington (26-10), which handed Notre Dame two of its four losses by scores of 4-1 and 2-1 back in the middle of September.

Notre Dame’s 2-1 loss to the Knights on Sept. 15 was, in fact, the last time the Bulldogs lost a game. Since then, Notre Dame won the Jackson Tournament and has scored at least three or more runs (double-digit runs six times) in each contest.

Offensively, Notre Dame is being led by a trio of batters in seniors Ainsley Burnett, Hailey Burnett and Kadi Dohogne, who all have a batting average of .490 or better. Dohogne is leading the way with a .526 average, while Burnett currently paces her at .505.

All three batters have recorded 47 or more hits (Dohogne 51, Ainsley 50 and Hailey 47), while they’ve combined for 14 of the Bulldogs 16 home runs. Dohogne has the most homers with six, while Ainsley and Hailey have each hit four bombs.

On the rubber, Hailey Burnett and fellow senior pitcher Halle Ressel each have double-digit wins on the mound with 10 apiece.

Burnett has only suffered one loss while recording 58 strikeouts and a 1.13 earned run average, as Ressel has three losses along with her 50 strikeouts and 2.21 ERA.

The Bulldogs are hoping to win their first district championship since 2020 back when they were one run away from reaching the final four while playing in Class 5.

Still remaining in Class 5 District 1 is Jackson (20-12) as the Indians have been seeded third overall after finishing the season on an eight-game winning streak. During Jackson’s streak, the Indians beat district opponents No. 4 seed Seckman (16-10) 10-6 and No. 6 Fox (8-18) 16-6.

In the Indians most recent win over Seckman, Jackson sophomore shortstop Morgan Conklin recorded three hits (two doubles) for three runs while scoring two of her own. Freshman left field and leadoff hitter Madalyn Stelling tied for a game-high three runs scored, while having one hit and RBI of her own.

Indians junior Zoe Flath picked up the win on the rubber by pitching a complete game while throwing three strikeouts and only allowing two earned runs.

Also having three hits in the Seckman game like Conklin was junior third baseman Karsyn Rose as she drove in Jackson’s last run off a line drive for a double.

Receiving the top seeds over Jackson were No. 1 Lindbergh (19-9) and No. 2 Oakville (16-10). On Aug. 31, the Indians traveled to Lindbergh and fell to the Flyers by only one run at 4-3. Lindbergh and Oakville have faced off in regular-season play as the Tigers beat the Flyers 9-5 Sept. 23.

Along with its win over No. 1 Lindbergh, Oakville also handed Notre Dame one of its four losses at 8-4 in the Capital City Classic. Jackson fell to the Bulldogs the two times they faced each other this season at 8-5 and 6-4.

Finally, Saxony Lutheran (14-6) earned the No. 3 seed in the Class 2 District 1 Tournament. Kelly (22-9) has been seed No. 1, while Chaffee (14-10) is No. 2.

The Class 4 and Class 5 District 1 Championship games will both be played on Friday, while the Class 2 District 1 title game is tomorrow.

Nick McNeal covers high school sports, college sports and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Cape Girardeau County for the past five years. He can be reached at cbjsports@socket. net.

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